MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
Photo by M. Denisov. Mos.ru
Where is snow taken from Moscow sidewalks and roads? Can you count the drifts? Why are the rivers cleaner? The answers to these questions are known to the employees of Mosvodokanal snow-rafting stations. Now they have a hot season: forecasters promise a snowy winter.
Snowfalls began in Moscow. Since the beginning of December, 11 centimeters of snow has already fallen, and this is not the limit, according to forecasters. Cleaning services rake snowdrifts and take them to special points. There are 56 of them in the city, 35 of them are managed by Mosvodokanal. Mos.ru visited a snow-rafting station in the north-east of Moscow and saw how they accept, count and melt snow.
Count by the snowflake
Trucks filled with snow enter the territory of the SVAO snow-rafting station – a site among garages and construction sites on Selskokhozyaistvennaya Street. Locksmiths in helmets are appraisingly examining the snowdrifts and waving their hand: pass!
“Soft snow: came from under the golden pens. This is what we call snow buckets in our professional slang. They loosen snowdrifts well, then it is easier to crush snow. And when the janitors collect shovels, it turns out dense, knocked down snow, ”explains Igor Danko, senior foreman of the Mosvodokanal snow-rafting service.
This season, it is easier for the employees of the point to cope with avalanches of cars: a smart laser scanner was installed at the gate, and it is no longer necessary to determine the amount of snow by eye. The device itself counts cubic meters and in seconds transmits the data to the computer monitor to the operator’s room. There, the foreman records how much snow raw material has been received, prints out a receipt and gives it to the driver for reporting. The laser was installed last year, but the winter of 2019 turned out to be snowless, and it was not possible to run the device in and check its effectiveness.
“We keep records of the processing of snow, since then it goes to the treatment facilities in Moscow. For example, in the morning, 13 trucks came and brought 20 cubic meters each. And sometimes, we get 48 cubic meters from one car: giant double-deck dump trucks of the Tonar series arrive, mainly from Sheremetyevo airport, when snow drifts occur, ”says Igor Danko.
After the snow is counted, trucks dump it into a crusher, which breaks up the snow masses. “When big dump trucks empty the bodies, there is such a crash!” – Igor Danko laughs. Further, the snow slurry from Moscow streets falls through the grate into the sand trap, where it is cleaned of dirt, sand, debris, and reagents. After that, it is heated with waste water coming from the sewer pipes. The temperature of such water does not go below ten degrees Celsius. Then the melted snow passes through two underground filters, turns into waste water and ends up in the main sewer collector (a pipe with a diameter of about three and a half meters), from where it goes to the city’s treatment facilities.
“It turns out the cycle of snow in nature,” says Igor Danko.
Workers of Mosvodokanal remember: many years ago, before snow-melting points opened in Moscow, snow was thrown into rivers and polluted with bottles, bags and other rubbish. Now the capital’s reservoirs have become cleaner.
“Because of its special climatic zone, Moscow is the only megalopolis in the world where snow disposal has been approached on such a large scale. They even came to us from Germany recently to borrow experience, ”says the senior foreman of the Mosvodokanal snow-rafting service.
Grandma won’t slip
Employees of Mosvodokanal admit: when there is no snowfall, they are bored. Freezing idle. And there is not enough snow at leisure. “Last year we didn’t get a normal winter. I remember, I took the children to go for a drive down the hill, they moved out, so they were covered with foliage from above … Is it winter? ” – Igor Danko laments.
But in snowy times, snow-melting points are overwhelmed with work. So, once the snowfalls lasted until April 26. It happens that in a day, for four shifts, locksmiths take 300 machines – seven thousand cubic meters of snow. Dump trucks are served by three employees per shift, forgetting about lunch and rest.
“It’s no coincidence that they say: like snow on your head. When a blizzard begins, a blizzard, we just have to be ready. A maximum of three days are given for cleaning up heavy drifts, ”says Igor Danko.
The workers of the point say that about 60 centimeters of snow fell in a couple of days two years ago. Trucks lined up in an endless queue, their bodies with snowdrifts towered over the road from Agricultural Street to Botanicheskaya. Now Moscow is not covered with snow yet, but 30-40 centimeters of precipitation is expected by the New Year.
Igor Danko talks about his work with delight. Once he, a graduate of the Institute of Water Transport Engineers and a former captain of the river fleet, got a job as a mechanic at Mosvodokanal and did not regret it. Over the years, he rose to the rank of senior master.
“I am calm knowing that some grandmother will not slip or fall, that cars will not get stuck, that ducks will float in rivers and not rubbish,” he says.
Where to complain about uncleared snow and icicles
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.